Food

Simtom Food Products calls in administrators as Covid takes toll

Monitoring Desk

Indian sauces manufacturer Simtom Food Products has collapsed under the weight of disruption caused by the Covid pandemic, with almost 100 workers losing their jobs.

Founded in Leicestershire in 1977 by Jai Chandarana, the family-run business produced a range of traditional Indian sauces, marinades, pickles and chutneys for supermarkets and the foodservice industry.

Simtom has invested heavily over the past few years in growing its operations, but it plans were hampered by the coronavirus outbreak as the catering industry ground to a halt overnight.

The loss of business, coupled with more recent labour shortages, placed “significant pressure” on the company, resulting in the appointment of recovery firm Interpath Advisory.

Simton directly employed about 60 staff, alongside an additional 40 agency workers. The majority of the workers were made redundant before the appointment of joint administrators Tim Bateson and Howard Smith.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the implementation of Simtom’s strategic plans, which, when coupled with the recent labour shortages, has had a significant impact on this award-winning food manufacturer,” Bateson said.

“Our immediate priority is to support those employees who have been made redundant, providing them with the information and support they need to make claims via the Redundancy Payments Office.

“We will be seeking offers for the business and its assets and would encourage any interested parties to make their interest known at the earliest opportunity.”

Simtom fell to a pre-tax loss of more than £660k in the 18 months ended 31 March 2020 as margins were squeezed, according to the latest accounts available on Companies House.

Turnover at the company increased to £18m in the period, which amounted to a 18% rise on an annualised basis.

Interpath is formerly the UK restructuring practice of KPMG, created in March this year when the Big Four accountancy firm sold the division to a newly formed company backed by H.I.G. Europe.

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